Ladbrokes World Championship Draw
ADRIAN LEWIS will open the defence of his Ladbrokes World Darts Championship against debutant Gino Vos and Phil Taylor will meet Michael Mansell as the pair begin their battle for the new Sid Waddell Trophy at Alexandra Palace.
The draw for the £1 million event was made on Tuesday alongside the unveiling of the specially-commissioned new World Championship trophy, named in memory of the late Sky Sports commentator Sid Waddell.
Lewis has drawn young Dutch debutant Gino Vos as he begins his challenge to win a third successive World Championship.
Lewis has defeated Gary Anderson and Andy Hamilton in the final in the past two years, and has set his sights on retaining the title on New Year's Day.
"I'm really excited", said Lewis, who became a father for the second time on Saturday morning to a boy, Matthew. "It's been a great honour to be World Champion for the past two years and it hardly seems like a year since I was lifting the trophy at Alexandra Palace.
"Gino's a really good young player so it will be a tough game at start the tournament, but I'm feeling great. My form's improving and now that Matthew's been born it's a weight off my shoulders, and I can focus on preparing for the World Championship now."
15-time World Champion Taylor, meanwhile, faces Northern Ireland's left-hander Michael Mansell in the first round as he bids to win his first Alexandra Palace title since 2010.
Taylor, who was knocked out by Dave Chisnall in the second round 12 months ago, believes that winning the Cash Converters Players Championship last weekend was ideal preparation.
"Winning the Players Championship Finals was brilliant because you can't get anything better than winning tournaments," said Taylor, 52.
"I'm pleased with how my form's building and I've put a lot of work in so far but I'll be putting in plenty of practice in the next week or so to make sure I'm ready. Michael's a really tough opponent, he's a solid player and he's dangerous.
"It would be a massive achievement to win the World Championship again but this year would be extra special if I was the first player to win the Sid Waddell Trophy.
"We all miss Sid and this is a brilliant tribute to him to have the new trophy named in his memory."
Number three seed James Wade has drawn debutant Peter Hudson for their first round clash, while 2011 runner-up Anderson meets the winner of the preliminary round game between Finnish qualifiers Jarkko Komula and Jani Haavisto.
European Champion Simon Whitlock, the Australian who lost in the 2010 World Championship final to Taylor, will meet either Japan's Haruki Muramatsu or New Zealand number one Dave Harrington.
Number six seed Wes Newton is up against Swindon-based debutant Johnny Haines, while in-form Michael van Gerwen, the World Grand Prix winner in October, will meet either veteran star Paul Lim or Malaysia's Mohd Latif Sapup.
Last year's finalist, Hamilton, has been drawn with Northamptonshire's James Richardson, who caused a sensation by knocking out Raymond van Barneveld on his World Championship debut.
Five-time World Champion Van Barneveld will meet St Helens youngster Michael Smith, number nine seed Terry Jenkins plays Steve Brown and Mark Webster - twice a semi-finalist - draw Stoke's emerging Ian White.
Justin Pipe plays Andy Jenkins, Dave Chisnall will face top Australian Shane Tichowitsch.
Veteran two-time World Champion Dennis Priestley, 62, has drawn Ronnie Baxter, while former semi-finalist Mervyn King also picked up a plum tie against debutant Dean Winstanley, the former Lakeside Championship finalist who has impressed in his first year on the PDC circuit.
World Youth Champion James Hubbard will make his debut in the tournament against Richie Burnett, three-time World Champion John Part meets Joe Cullen, Colin Lloyd faces the American number on Darin Young and Kim Huybrechts, the Belgian who was the runner-up in last weekend's Cash Converters Players Championship, plays Scott Rand.
The Ladbrokes World Darts Championship will be held from December 14-January 1 at Alexandra Palace. For tickets, visit www.seetickets.com/darts or call 0844 871 8807.
The tournament will be screened live on Sky Sports HD, with the semi-finals and final also broadcast in 3D.
The schedule of play is likely to be announced on Wednesday.
Andree Welge (Germany) v Leung Chun Nam (China)
Haruki Muramatsu (Japan) v Dave Harrington (New Zealand)
Daryl Gurney (Northern Ireland) v Robert Marijanovic (Croatia)
Max Hopp (Germany) v Charl Pietersen (South Africa)
Lourence Ilagan (Philippines) v Jamie Lewis (Wales)
Carlos Rodriguez (Spain) v John Bowles (England)
Paul Lim (Singapore) v Mohd Latif Sapup (Malaysia)
Jarkko Komula (Finland) v Jani Haavisto (Finland)
First Round Draw Bracket
Phil Taylor (ENG) 1 v. Michael Mansell
Wayne Jones (ENG) 32 v. Jerry Hendriks
Paul Nicholson (AUS) 16 v. Co Stompe
Robert Thornton (SCO) 17 v. Magnus Caris
Andy Hamilton (ENG) 8 v. James Richardson
Richie Burnett (WAL) 25 v. James Hubbard
Terry Jenkins (ENG) 9 v. Steve Brown
John Part (CAN) 24 v. Joe Cullen
Simon Whitlock (AUS) 5 v. Muramatsu/Harrington
Colin Osborne (ENG) 28 v. Ilagan/Lewis
Dave Chisnall (ENG) 12 v. Shane Tichowitsch
Andy Smith (ENG) 21 v. Gurney/Marijanovic
Gary Anderson (SCO) 4 v. Komula/Haavisto
Jamie Caven (ENG) 29 v. Rodriguez/Bowles
Raymond van Barneveld (NED) 13 v. Michael Smith
Brendan Dolan (NIR) 20 v. Mark Jones
Adrian Lewis (ENG) 2 v. Gino Vos
Denis Ovens (ENG) 31 v. Hopp/Pietersen
Kevin Painter (ENG) 15 v. Welge/Chun Nam
Ronnie Baxter (ENG) 18 v. Dennis Priestley
Michael van Gerwen (NED) 7 v. Lim/Latif Sapup
Peter Wright (SCO) 26 v. Arron Monk
Mark Webster (WAL) 10 v. Ian White
Colin Lloyd (ENG) 23 v. Darin Young
Wes Newton (ENG) 6 v. Johnny Haines
Kim Huybrechts (BEL) 27 v. Scott Rand
Justin Pipe (ENG) 11 v. Andy Jenkins
Mark Walsh (ENG) 22 v. Darren Webster
James Wade (ENG) 3 v. Peter Hudson
Steve Beaton (ENG) 30 v. Kyle Anderson
Mervyn King (ENG) 14 v. Dean Winstanley
Vincent van der Voort (NED) 19 v. Stuart Kellett